Bernard Kerik is the first former New York Police Department Commissioner to be sentenced to prison. He was appointed to the position of Police Commissioner in August of 2000 and ended his service in this capacity in December of 2001. During his time serving in this capacity, Bernard Kerik met then-president George W. Bush and impressed him with his work following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
In December of 2004, Bernard Kerik was nominated by Bush to serve as the Secretary of Homeland Security. However, a week after his nomination
was announced, Bernard Kerik voluntarily withdrew from the appointment process after it was revealed that he had employed an undocumented worker as a domestic servant. Continuing press attention included disclosures of a previous sexual harassment lawsuit filed against Bernard Kerik, among other charges. The media attention led to the Bronx District Attorney's Office opening an investigation which took 18 months to complete. As a result, Bernard Kerik admitted to two ethical violations while serving as police commissioner and was ordered to pay a fine of $221,000.
In November of 2007, Bernard Kerik was indicted by a New York jury on multiple charges, including lying to White House and federal officials during the nomination process. He was also charged at this time with accepting renovations to his apartment in the Bronx from a company which was pursuing a contract with the city of New York, then concealing this transaction from the Internal Revenue Service. However, the charges against him were dropped, since the bulk of the criminal offenses committed by Bernard Kerik were committed in Washington D.C. He was then separately indicted in Washington D.C.
In October of 2009, preparations for his first criminal trial were disrupted when it was revealed that Bernard Kerik had arranged for an attorney who was not a formal member of his legal team to email information which had been sealed by the court to a newspaper in an attempt to garner public sympathy. The judge presiding over the case revoked his bail and ordered that Bernard Kerik be held in legal custody pending the beginning of his trial.
In court at the beginning of his trial in November, Bernard Kerik entered a plea of "guilty" in response to all of the charges which had been filed against him, which included tax fraud, making a false statement on a loan application, and lying to federal officials. During the investigation, Bernard Kerik agreed to cooperate with the investigating officials and discuss potentially illegal business activities he had conducted outside the United States from 2005 to 2007 in exchange for immunity from prosecution related to these activities or any attendant tax crimes that might have been committed.
Shortly thereafter, Bernard Kerik was sentenced to four years in prison by the judge in excess of the two to three years called for by the sentencing guidelines.